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Son Cubano or Calle Ocho

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I'm hosting a casual business dinner for 6 next Thursday. This group gets together every few months and we always try to pick a different cuisine. Location doesn't really matter and even though it's a business dinner it can't be super expensive. I've eaten at Son Cubano before but not Calle Ocho. Any thoughts? Or any other suggestions for something fun and casual that isn't Italian (that was our last dinner). Thanks!!!

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  1. Calle Ocho...a dynamic environment with very tasty and creative food. And it's fun to show off the UWS to associates/visitors. They have large tables and the room is beautiful.

    1. I have to disagree with Will on the food. Calle Ocho's bar is sleek and sexy and the dining room is electric, but the food leaves much to be desired. I find it overpriced and poor. Better off at Son Cubano.

      1. I haven't been to Calle Ocho in a few years, but I recently suggested it as a possibility to another poster who reported back that they had a great time and a wonderful meal.

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/46459...

        1. There was a time I would have said Son Cubano hands down. I had some of my favorite meals in this city there, but then they started cutting corners, and either changed some of their best dishes or took them off the menu entirely. The coconut shrimp which used to come with a dozen spiked on a pineapple steak now comes with three lined up on a small plate, for the same price. Same with every other dish we ordered. Every dish was like that, and when we asked if they had sold, the manager acted confused, and mumbled something about a new chef. If dishes no longer resemble the old dishes, and the portions are chitnzy then clearly the manager knows it and has encouraged it. Even their mojitos were all ice and mint, with little alcohol. Gone were the big parties of large latin families out for a nice dinner too.

          I would have to say avoid Son Cubano as long as they're ripping off their customers. They always had a loyal following, there was no reason for them to get greedy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sugartoof

            Well it certainly seems like a split vote so far. I'm open to other suggestions if you have any. The main requirement is good food, not super expensive and a casual, rather than a formal, yet still suitable for business atmosphere.

          2. I like Calle Ocho. If you want a sit-down Latin restaurant, I also think the food at Sofrito (Puerto Rican), 57th and 1st Ave., is good, but the place can be loud.